Pope Francis Appoints 1st Woman, a Religious Sister, as Under-Secretary at Synod of Bishops along with Fr Luis Marín

Vatican News reports that Pope Francis appointed two new Under Secretaries to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops: Sr Nathalie Becquart and Fr Luis Marín de San Martín.

By Vatican News staff writer

Pope Francis has appointed Sr Nathalie Becquart and Fr Luis Marín de San Martín to be the Under-Secretaries of the Synod of Bishops.

Currently headed by Cardinal Mario Grech, the Synod of Bishops is a permanent institution established by Pope Paul VI in 1965, in response to the desire of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council to keep alive the spirit of collegiality engendered by the conciliar experience.

The appointment of Sr Natalie Becquart is particularly interesting as it is the first time ever a woman has been appointed to this position.

Biography of Sisterr Nathalie Becquart 

Nathalie Becquart was born in 1969 in Fontainebleau, France.

She graduated from the HEC school of management with a Master in Management with a specialization in Entrepreneurship in Jouy-en-Josas in 1992, and went on to study philosophy at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Between 1992-1993 she spent her volunteer year in Beirut, Lebanon, working as a Professor of Mathematics and French in a Catholic High School and taking philosophy and theology courses at ISSR-St Joseph Jesuit University of Beirut. This was followed by two years working as a Consultant in a marketing and advertising agency for NGO’s and Christian organizations (EJC consulting) in Paris.

Nathalie Joined the Xaviere sisters, missionaries of Christ-Jesus (Apostolic Congregation of Ignatian Spirituality) in August 1995 and took her final vows in September 2005.

She has since worked in various roles including Spiritual Director for the Ignatian Youth Network in France National Coordinator of the scouting program for youth in poor urban multicultural areas, Scouts de France;  President of the Ignatian association “Life at Sea, entry into prayer”; Director of Campus Ministry in Créteil (University of East Paris) and member of the diocesan office of youth ministry, WYD diocesan coordinator in 2007-2008; Deputy Director of the National Service for the Evangelization of Youth and for Vocations (SNEJV), in charge of university pastoral care, at the French Episcopal Conference; Director of the National Service for the Evangelization of Youth and for Vocations (SNEJV) at the French Bishop’s conference (Sept. 2012-August 2018 for a 6 years term);  Member of the Bishop’s council of the Diocese of Nanterre France (with Bishop Michel Aupetit, who is now the Archbishop of Paris); Vice-President of the European Vocations Service (CCEE).

Between 2016-2018 she was part of the preparatory team for the Synod on youth in the Vatican; in October 2018, Auditor at the Synod of Bishops on “Youth, faith and vocational discernment”.

Since then to date Sr Nathalie has been following  Vatican sabbatical programs at CTU (Catholic Theological Union), in Chicago, USA.

Biography of Fr Luis Marín de San Martín

Luis Marín de San Martín was born in Madrid, Spain on August 21, 1961.

He professed temporary vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 5, 1982 and solemn vows on November 1, 1985.

From 1982 to 1988 he studied Philosophy and Theology in the Seminario Mayor Tagaste (Los Negrales, Madrid). He was ordained a priest on June 4, 1988 by Mons. Francisco José Pérez y Fernández-Golfín, auxiliary bishop of Madrid. He belongs to the Augustinian Province of San Juan de Sahagún in Spain. He received a Licentiate in Spiritual Theology from the Pontifical Comillas University in Madrid (1990); and another in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1992); and a Doctorate in Theology from the Pontifical Comillas University in Madrid (1998) with a dissertation on the ecclesiology of Saint John XXIII, which he defended in 1995. He also obtained a diploma in Archival Studies (Vatican, 2011).

Between 1988 and 1990 he worked in the parish of Nuestra Señora de la Vid, of San Sebastián de los Reyes. He was a formator in the Augustinian house of formation of Los Negrales between 1992 and 1999. He was parish priest “in solidum” of the parishes of the Montejo de la Sierra zone (Madrid) between 1992 and 1995. He was also director of Estudio Teológico Agustiniano Tagaste (1995-1999) and of Centro Teológico San Agustín (1996-1998). He served as a member of the formation team in the Professorium between 1996 and 1999. From 1999 to 2002 he served as a provincial counselor for the Augustinian Province of Spain and parish priest of the parishes of Santa Ana and la Esperanza (Madrid). From 2002 to 2008 he was prior of the Santa María de la Vid Monastery (La Vid, Burgos) and collaborated as a formator in the interprovincial novitiate. He taught as professor in the Centro Teológico San Agustín (Los Negrales – San Lorenzo de El Escorial) and in the Estudio Teológico Agustiniano of Valladolid.

He is the author of various books and numerous articles in specialized magazines and publications. From 2009 to 2013 he was secretary of the Augustinian Historical Institute. Since 2004 he has been teaching as an invited professor in the Theology Faculty of the Norte de España (Burgos). He has directed numerous retreats and spiritual exercises to religious and laity. He has also led retreats and ongoing formation courses for priests and has developed an extensive pastoral ministry with laity. He has served as General Archivist of the Order of Saint Augustine since 2008 and as an Assistant General of the Augustinian Order and President of the Augustinian Spirituality Institute since 2013.

Source: VaticanNews.va - Image Source : Wikimedia Commons